• Reliable purple wheat with good yield potential from a spring sowing
  • Niche market wheat with appreciably higher value than other wheat types
  • Excellent depth of colour that is preferred by the flour mills
  • Suitable for winter and spring sowings.


AMETHYST is a high yielding alternative (spring) purple milling wheat, bred in New Zealand by PGG Wrightson Grain (PGW Grain) and commercially released in 1988. AMETHYST produces a deep purple grain colour favoured by end users for both kibbling and milling. Purple wheat is a niche market product for which contracts are strongly advised.


AMETHYST is the only purple wheat cultivar available for the spring drilling market and although outclassed by Tyrian from an autumn drilling timing, it can still perform well from mid May onwards.

PGW AMETHYST Canterbury grain quality (2 year mean) Canterbury
Test weight (kg/hl) 73
Screenings (%) 2.2
Kernel weight (1000 seed weight) 40
Protein content (%) (N% x 5.7) 12.8
Falling number (sec) 332

AMYTHEST should be given priority at harvest to preserve the colour intensity and to protect falling number.

Time of Drilling

AMETHYST is an alternative (spring) type wheat with a wide drilling window. A drilling window of mid May through to mid September is recommended for this cultivar. In dryland crops, AMETHYST will consistently perform more reliably from an autumn drilling.

Late spring drilled crops will need irrigation.

Speed of Development

Month Planted Typical heading dates (Canterbury)
June Mid November
Mid - Late August Late November - Early December

AMETHYST is an intermediate maturing cultivar at harvest.

Seed Rate and Tillering Characteristics

AMETHYST tillers very well and this can compromise kernel weights (TGW), so care needs to be taken with plant populations to protect grain quality. Target plant populations should be within the standard PGW Grain purple wheat guidelines.

Soil Type, Rotation and Geography

AMETHYST is suitable for all New Zealand winter and spring wheat growing regions where good grain quality can be achieved. It is not recommended as a second year cereal option. As well as the usual risks from take-all, contamination from non-purple wheat volunteers could compromise end-user quality.

Disease Resistance

AMYTHEST has a poor disease resistance profile, being moderately susceptible to most foliar diseases with the exception of powdery mildew. Considering this disease profile and late planting, fungicide programmes should be tailored to target stripe rust early on i.e. Galmano seed treatment followed by a T1 spray with adequate follow up sprays for the control of leaf rust.

Please contact your local PGW Representative for site specific recommendations.

Disease nursery results:

Disease Disease nursery ratings
Stripe rust 6
Leaf rust 4
Septoria leaf blotch 5
Powdery mildew 9
Fusarium head blight n/a

* (9 highly resistant, 1 highly susceptible)

* n/a = no data available.

Straw Strength and Height

AMETHYST is a short cultivar with good standing power. Plant growth regulators (PGRs) should be considered for high yields when under irrigation or if late spring sown where nitrogen is typically loaded on early. Use of PGRs is generally recommended, with the actual programme determined by a combination of sowing date, seed rate, nitrogen use, crop thickness and yield potential.

Please contact your local PGW Representative for site specific recommendations.